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Working for the post office has to be probably the best job in the USA right now - your retirement is already funded before you are even hired, thanks to congress trying to put the post office out of business.

They are not "bleeding red ink" they are just being gouged and forced to fund things even the largest corporations do not do.

ERISA forbids unfunded (PAYGO) pensions in the private sector. A private sector employer must put the PVFB of your pension into the fund as you earn it.

"as you earn it" is the key phrase here, the post office has to fund pension plans before you are even hired, it's a future pool of staggering size.

Pensions at the post office are probably the most secure retirement fund in the US right now, well other than what congress awards itself.

No, they are not required to prefund before current workers are hired.

The pension costs of future workers are simply required to be included in future projections of USPS costs. It used to be that the USPS could go to congress and say "we want to do X over the next 10 years, it will cost $Y". The $Y value was allowed to exclude the cost of retirement benefits for workers hired during those 10 years. Now it must be included.

This is simply good accounting practice.

You are incorrect. Please read the text of the law, especially section 8909a here:


The government is requiring USPS to set aside money for benefits which it has already promised, which is a no-brainer. Did you know that health benefits for employees in the private sector are not promised, and they have been yanked away?

I don't think ERISA says anything about health benefits. As far as I know, health benefits are also unregulated in the private sector, but then again, there is no government insurance for health benefits either like there is with defined benefit pensions (i.e. PBGC).

According to Wikipedia:

During the 1990s and 2000s, many employers who promised lifetime health coverage to their retirees limited or eliminated those benefits.[4][5] ERISA does not provide for vesting of health care benefits in the way that employees become vested in their accrued pension benefits. Employees and retirees who were promised lifetime health coverage may be able to enforce those promises by suing the employer for breach of contract, or by challenging the right of the health benefit plan to change its plan documents in order to eliminate those promised benefits.

I noted elsewhere in this conversation that ERISA does contain loopholes, such as some some health care benefits. This is indeed a potential problem and one that should be fixed. Every organization, public and private, should be obligated to truthfully account for their obligations.


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